Indian filmmaker to portray what life is actually like for immigrants in US

December 28th, 2008 - 1:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 28 (ANI): Indian-born, Maryland-raised director Shilpa Priya Jagadeesh says she wants to portray what life is actually like for 20-something Indian immigrants in the United States.

“I want to portray what life is actually like for 20-something Indian immigrants here,” said Shilpa, who is known to her Indian audiences as Priyabharati Joshi.

“The romantic struggle of not wanting our parents to arrange a marriage for us because that’’s not the environment we grew up in, but also of not having a lot of experience finding someone on our own because our parents restricted our dating when we were younger. . . . It’’s kind of ”Bridget Jones meets Bollywood,” ” she added.

Instead of setting the film’’s show-stopper dance numbers in what Jagadeesh calls “the Indian movie version of Washington” marble monuments, ethnic Indian restaurants and sari shops she has chosen the sort of backdrops against which life really plays out for many first and second generation immigrants in the US: offices of Northern Virginia high-tech firms; the upscale; and a mixer held by NetSAP, the network of South Asian professionals, at the Willard Hotel, where the music of choice is not bhangra but salsa.

“I”m not setting this in Washington because of the pretty architecture,” explained Jagadeesh, 29, who has worked on television movies in India and has brought in several well-known Indian film actors to play the leads.

Shilpa says her aim behind the project is to correct some Indian misconceptions about immigrant life in America, reports the Washington Post.

“There’’s this stereotype in Indian movies that Indian girls raised here are morally debauched and end up being rude to their parents, promiscuous and losing their [Hindu vegetarian] religion — you know, eating meat right and left,” she said.

“Also, the women characters are either long-suffering, self-sacrificing mother types who are put on a pedestal, or jezebel vamps to be reviled. Well, what about the rest of us who are just trying to live our lives?” she added.

Technically speaking, her movie, “e-Preeti,” is not a product of Bollywood, which refers to the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai, but of “Sandalwood,” the nickname for films produced in the Southern Indian city of Bangalore in a regional language called Kannada. (ANI)

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